4. Films, Post-Industrial and Influences
Some artists benefited from publicity. However, you remained in the same zone. Do you still consider yourself an underground artist? What do you think about this term?
It’s not a bad question, though I never really considered myself underground. I am not underground, but I am still obscure. Well, if we turn around and ask these people, nobody knows about me. So I am not exactly well-known. I am the same person, doing the same things. But I am not really underground, rather I’ve always been on the outside. It’s interesting because I ended up working on films.
Speaking of which, you had some projects in Hollywood, over 50 films. Do you separate personas when working?
No, because I am the same person. However, it depends on the project. Sometimes you are paid to work on a project they want you to do it, while it is a job. Although it happens to be music or movie, it’s still a job; you are working to get paid. So your job is to do what the people paying you want, not what you want, even though you might disagree. The idea is to do your best work from a creative point of view. You give them want they want. Some want me to bring my sound in their project, which is more interesting and gives you more freedom. I happen to do my own music and I’ve been lucky enough to also have a job from making music, which is a privileged position to be in, considering there are periods when there is no work and no money. However, I still have the same approach. Obviously, it is a different discipline, as you are working with somebody else. I also say ‘no’ a lot, too. There was a time when I would say ‘yes’ more often, because of money. I’ve worked in a lot of movies and some of them were hugely successful, box office no 1, but they are still not that good. I’ve also worked on video games or on projects that sold millions. When you work on a video game, you know that millions of people play that game. They didn’t buy the game because I worked on it, they bought it because they wanted to play the game. Very few played the game because of me, while few noticed the music. It is ironic that, as I’m doing my own music, there are people that enjoy it. However, in the case of the video game, millions played it, thus, millions heard the music, but they don’t know and they don’t care. But that’s fine.
Are you up to date with the current post-industrial techno scene? Take for example Berlin, a city filled with artists, some probably influenced by you.
Not now, if you are talking about Berlin. Of course, I am very aware of Basic Channel and Chain Reaction. However, when it comes to post-industrial music, I am not that excited, as in its current state, it has nothing to do with industrial. Best scenario, I see them as rock bands with samplers. I know the people who originally did this industrial music, while the person who came up with the term is my oldest friend. What people now call industrialised has nothing to do with how it was back then. Now it is a fashion or a style, a uniform. It wasn’t about that; it was about ideas and innovation. There are also a lot of things influenced by it, with some of them being really interesting, while some are not. I am talking about approaches from the 80s which were really bad, like sample based rock music that was called industrial. Teri Bristol, for example, was a very interesting project, as it was about more than one thing. Then, people came on and copied bands like Cabaret Voltaire. Years later we were going to early hip-hop shows, and I remember seeing Run-DMC live, with huge sound and beats. This was much closer to industrial than the bands who would call themselves industrial. Early hip-hop was experimenting with the sounds, while it also exploited other concept of interest that meant something, such as poverty, racism and hardship. Electronic hip-hop focuses on other aspects, more superficial, such as money and a sense of meaningless competition, which I find boring. But there was a time when it was really interesting. Coming back, Basic Channel had an interesting approach to what was going on and some of them were very influenced by industrial. For me, it was much closer to real industrial music than the so called industrial music. Maybe they were not aware of it, but it was coming from the same place. Not just the music, but the way of doing it, distribution, contact and the network of people were on the same side, as opposed to the current fashion. Now, I have to admit that I lost track of what is happening. I think techno it’s like hip-hop. I noticed all the interesting things out there, it just happens that I don’t know what they are, but there is so much of it. So, as I said, it’s like hip-hop: it’s easy to do badly. There is a lot of really bad techno, which unfortunately makes it difficult to filter through this vast data. But I am interested in what is going right now.
Was Klaus Schulze’s album Irrlicht an influence for Lustmord?
I’m not familiar with the album, but I am familiar with some of his work. I wasn’t hearing the music, because if I’ve listened to that album maybe I would have never made my own music. Actually, this was the main idea in my creation, that I wasn’t hearing the music, so I created it myself. This is really ironic, because when I create music I don’t listen to my own tracks.
A big influence was from Throbbing Gristle who I also saw live a few times. This is a story that I am happy to talk about. I became friends with them and they encouraged me to do this myself, rather than going to their shows. So I started shaping some ideas and they wanted to hear them. They heard and they also sent them to other people and, as such, I ended up releasing a record. But as far as the music I am doing, I am happy to do it for myself. It was never really important for me what other people think.